Students’ perception of English as a Medium of instruction in teaching English at senior high schools in Palangka Raya - Digital Library IAIN Palangka Raya

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This chapter reviews the understanding theory used in the study concerning with the perception and EMI. To be more specific, this review of related literature discusses about previous studies, English as a Medium of Instruction (EMI), teaching language method, perception and survey items.

A. Previous Studies

The writer takes some previous studies as the comparison and guidance of this research. The first is, the research done by Karunakaran Thirunavukkarsu

studiedabout “Reintroduction of EMI in Sri Langka” the research found that main aspect of the way in which English is used as medium of instruction is that in government schools some subjects are taught in English while some other subjects are taught in Tamil. This helps the students be balanced bilinguals because they constantly learn their first language while acquiring mastery in L2. Eventually, it is assumed that this will facilitate the additive bilingualism and children would be balanced bilinguals. This paper tried to appraise the potential success of one decade –long English medium program and also see the different perspectives of the stakeholders involved in the English medium education. This study captured the views of parents, teachers and children: English medium and vernacular children.1


Karunakaran Thirunavukkarsu, Reintroduction of EMI in Sri Langka, International Journal of English Language and Literature Studies, the University of Jaffna, Sri Lanka.


Second, the research done by Sahika Tarhan that studied about

Perceptions of Students, Teachers and Parents regarding English-Medium

Instruction at Secondary Education”. Results indicated that students, teachers and parents do not favor English-medium instruction at secondary education. Regardless of their position on English-medium instruction, participants underscored problems of implementation of English-medium instruction at Anatolian high schools. A positive correlation was found between perceptions of English and perceptions of English-medium instruction for each group. Results also showed that all groups perceive English positively as a foreign language, and

support the teaching and learning of English. According to students‟ and teachers‟

perceptions, English- medium instruction influences the instructional process in math and science in Anatolian high schools, and poses problems particularly in the learning of the subject matter.2

Third, the research done by Bosco Li and Anna On Na Shum studied about: “A Discussion on Using English as Medium of Instruction in Hong Kong and Socialinguistics Impacts.”This paper studies the attitudes of students and teachers from a secondary school in Hong Kong towards English as medium of instruction (EMI) in Hong Kong. In the light of the collected data and other scholarly works, two sociolinguistic issues that are raised in the context of the adoption of EMI will be investigated: First, whether EMI fosters Anglocentrism and US imperialism and second, whether EMI preserves social inequality through the learning process. Although some scholars claim that these socio-cultural



impacts are quite apparent in post-colonial areas. However, the apparently unstoppable and inevitable global spread of the English language does not mean the unavoidability of these negative consequences. Instead, while enjoying the materialistic advantage and economic success brought by the globalization of English, government officials in post-colonial societies like Hong Kong and Malaysia should make every endeavor to conserve their cultural resources. Education practitioners should carefully select their teaching materials and make adaptations to suit the local context and at the same time, create more opportunities for students to learn English outside the classroom.3

Fourth, the research done by Mangasa Aritonang about “Motivation and Confidence of Indonesian Teachers to Use English as Medium of Instruction”4. This research used qualitative method which undertaken using an interpretive research paradigm and case study approach. The finding revealed varying increase in the levels of motivation and confidence of the participants and transformation of extrinsic to intrinsic motivation appeared to occur. The last result is some factors give contribution to increase the motivation and confidence. So, Aritonang

has something different with the writer‟s research. It is contained in what he wants

to know about the motivation and confidence of Indonesian Teachers using English as medium of instruction.

Another research done by Sultan Sultan, Helen Borland and Bill Eckersley about “English Medium of Instruction in Indonesian Public Junior Secondary


Bosco Li and Anna On Na Shum, 2008. A Discussion on Using English as Medium of Instruction in Hong Kong and Socialinguistics Impacts, The University of Hong Kong.


Mangasa Aritonang, 2014. “Motivation and Confidence of Indonesian Teachers to Use


School: Student’s Language Use, Attitude/Motivation and Foreign Language


. The writers used multiple case study research design in their study. For sample, the writers used 3 SBI junior secondary schools in South Sulawesi Province. The results of the study: First, Most of the students of EMI improved their English because they have extra time to develop their skills outside the schools. Second, the data indicated that EMI students use English more often than their counterpart in no-EMI programs both at home and at schools. Together with that, students in urban areas speak more in mix between English and Indonesia than students in rural areas. Third, most of students responded that they learn English based on instrumental orientation. It is clear to make dissidence. Sultan et al, did the investigation toward the result of the applying english as medium instruction and make comparation with the students who do not use english in classroom.

The studies were show that the background of English as a medium of instruction used in the classroom for reasons that actually similar to each other

and it caught my interest in doing a similar study, but from the students‟point of

view. The writer attempt to find out the how do the students‟ perceive of the

medium of instruction in their English learning in reality by doing a research at Senior High Schools in Palangka Raya.

B. English as a Medium of Instruction (EMI)

1. Definition


Sultan Sultan, Helen Borland and Bill Eckersley, 2012. “English Medium of Instruction

in Indonesian Public Junior Secondary School: Student’s Language Use, Attitude/Motivation and


Medium of instruction has a meaning “bahasa pengantar” in

Indonesian language. Medium of instruction is language that used as instruction by teacher inside the classroom.6

English Medium of Instruction (EMI) essentially refers to the teaching of a subject using the medium of the English language, but where there are no explicit language learning aims and where English is not the national language.7 English as a Medium of Instruction also can defined as the use of the English language to teach academic subjects in countries or jurisdictions where the first language (L1) of the majority of the population is not English.8

2. The Usage of English as a Medium of Instruction

English Medium Instruction (EMI) is a growing global phenomenon taking place primarily in tertiary education.9As the medium of instruction, teachers and students will learn not „about‟ English (as a

subject) but „through‟ English as a medium whichis English likely to be

used to perform academic tasks involving various classroom-related communicative activities like gaining information (listening & reading) and conveying information (speaking & writing).


Aijaz Ahmed, Tayyaba Zarif and Tehseen, 2013. The Role of Medium of Instruction Used in Pakistani Classroom, Interdisciplinary Journal of Contemporary Research in Business, Vol. 4, No. 12.


Divya Madhavan, Julie McDonald and Ecole Centrale Paris, 2014. English as Medium of Instruction: Philosophies and Policies, OECD France.


Julie Dearden, English as a Medium of Instruction: A Growing Global Phenomenon, University of Oxford.,p.2



Some cases that show the use of EMI is not easy. It found that a few learners in English medium classes found it difficult to speak in English but they said that they could write well in English. This case makes the learners good in writing rather than speaking10. They get meaningful contexts to interact with teachers and learners in tuition

classes. From the learners‟ responses, it is evident that some meaningful

interaction takes place intuition classes.11Another aspect that the second language acquisition is likely to be more successful when the target language is learned not only as an independent school subject, but also used as the medium of teaching in authentic acts of communication.12Swain continues to reiterate that the importance of integrating language learning with content learning cannot be overemphasized.13

3. Pros of English as a Medium of Instruction

There appears to be a fast-moving worldwide shift, in non-anglophone countries, from English being taught as a foreign language


Krashen Krashen, S. 1999. Condemned without a Trial: Bogus Argument against Bilingual Education. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann.


Swain, M. 1986. Two Ingredients in the Successful Use of a Second Language as a Medium of Instruction in Hong Kong.Educational Research Journal, 1, 1-6.


Swain, M. 1999. Integrating Language and Content Teaching through Collaborative Tasks. Language Teaching: New Insights for the Language Teacher (pp. 125–147). Singapore: SEAMEO Regional Language Centre.


(EFL) to English being the medium of instruction (EMI) for academic subjects. EMI is also increasingly being used in universities, secondary schools and even primary schools. The EMI phenomenon it is highly unlikely that the majority of countries, certainly in the tertiary phase, will seek to reverse the decision to push forward with even more courses taught in English which. If the phenomenon cannot be slowed down to a speed that will allow reflection, then at the very least it is encumbent on researchers and teachers alike to strive to make the experience for their learners as enabling and as rewarding as possible.14

Tollefson in Burns claimed that in non-NES situations EMI may be mandated as a medium of instruction by governmental or institutional language policies. In this context, EMI needs to be examined at both the macro level of language policies and the micro level of EMI practitioners.15

According to Tollefson, Chang, Coleman, and Crystal in Burns macro-level concerns include the socio-economic contexts of EMI policies, the role of English in language policies, the relationship between English and the local languages, the effectiveness of the EMI policies, and factors influencing EMI adoption.16Therefore, Erling, Kyeune stated in Burs it is often greatly welcomed by governments as well as individuals


Julie Dearden, English as a Medium of Instruction: A Growing Global Phenomenon, University of Oxford


Swain, M. 1999. Integrating Language and Content Teaching....



with a tendency for English to be introduced at an early educational level.17

4. Cons of English as a Medium of Instruction

In the global debates on English as an international lingua franca or as killer language, the use of English language as medium of instruction in various educational systems has raised increasing concerns at the same time.18 The English only movement also leads to several serious consequences as research suggests. The most noteworthy example was the

term “language death” coined and discussed by Ostler19

. Seeing that English has gotten more prevalent in all educational systems all over the world, the perception that the English language gains from the extinction of others has contributed to its being portrayed as a killer language described by Price.20

To make matters worse, Skutnabb-Kangas21 even claims that the spread of English leads to the danger of almost 90% of existing languages over the next century if the focus is on English only in various educational settings; thus, some apocalyptic terms such as languages of today are

Coleman Coleman, J. A., 2006. English-medium Teaching in European Higher Education. Language Teaching, 39(1), 1-14.


Ostler Ostler, N. D. M., 2005. Foundation for Endangered Languages. Retrieved from ./home.htm.


Price Price, G., 1984. The Languages of Britain. London: Edward Arnold.



5. English as a Medium of Instruction in Indonesia

Indonesia is an interesting country that the move towards EMI was being reversed. The national language of Indonesia is Bahasa Indonesia and there are more than 700 vernacular languages. Until 2003 international EMI schools operating in Indonesia were restricted to the children of expatriates. Education Law Number 20 of 2003, article 50, relaxed these restrictions and required that the central or regional governments establish

one „International Standard School‟ (ISS) at all levels, primary, junior,

secondary and senior secondary. This government sponsored program was implemented in 2006 in a special stream of public schools, the Rintisan Sekolah Bertaraf Internasional (RSBI) or International Standard Schools (ISS) and was known as RSBI/SBI or the International Standard Schools program. EMI was used for core subjects such as science and math.22

In 2013, parents, teachers and NGOs requested that the Constitutional Court of Indonesia should revoke the legislation on the RSBI/SBI program. The Constitutional Court approved the public appeal to cancel the law governing ISS and declared the law unconstitutional. This forced the Ministry of Education and Culture to stop the program as from school year 2013–14. However, this rule does not apply to private schools that choose to offer English bilingual education.23

The main argument used in the court case was that EMI might

endanger Indonesians‟ national identity, with the risk of the national


Julie Dearden, English as a Medium of Instruction: A Growing Global Phenomenon, University of Oxford, p. 18



unifying language Bahasa Indonesia becoming the language of the poor, and English becoming the language of the elite classes. It was also argued that the use of EMI could hinder students from loving Bahasa Indonesia and that the use of English or any other language as a medium of instruction (MoI) contradicts the spirit of the Youth Pledge 1928, proclaiming three ideals: one motherland, one nation and one language.24

C. Teaching Language Methodology

The writer get the point of view of the PPP (present, practice, and production) as a good approach in teaching language. While PPP is one of the methodology approach in certification and training program that often requested by employers or Directors of Studies (DOS).25

1. “Presentation” involves presenting the target language (the language to be taught to the students) to the students generally through eliciting and cueing of the students to see if they know it and then providing the language if no one does.The target language is usually put on the board either in structure (grammar-type) charts or in dialogs. Presentation

features more “teacher talk” than the other stages of the lesson, generally

as much as 65-90% of the time. This portion of the total lesson can take as much as 20-40% of the lesson time.

2. “Practice” where the students practice the target language in one to three activities that progress from very structured (students are given activities


Julie Dearden, English as a Medium of Instruction..... p. 18



that provide little possibility for error) to less-structured (as they master

the material).These activities should include as much “student talk” as

possible and not focus on written activities, though written activities can provide a structure for the verbal practices. Practice should have the

“student talk time” range from 60-80 percent of the time with teacher talk

time being the balance of that time. This portion of the total lesson can take from 30-50% of the lesson time.

3. “Production” is the stage of the lesson where the students take the target language and use it in conversations that they structure (ideally) and use it to talk about themselves or their daily lives or situations. Production should involve student talk at as much as 90% of the time and this component of the lesson can/should take as much as 20-30% of the lesson time.26

D. Perception

1. Definition of Perception

Perception is the process by which organisms interpret and organize sensation to produce a meaningful experience of the world. Sensation usually refers to immediate, relativity unprocessed result of

26 Ibid


stimulation of sensory receptors in the eyes, ears, nose, tongue, or skin.27In other hand, perception is the sorting out, interpretation, analysis, an integration of stimuli carried out by the the sense organs and brain.28 Every people have different perception on the same thing. It is because of the factors of the people knowing of the world and his feeling of that.29

Etymologically, Barnhart in Dr A Lewis states that the term

“perception” is derived from the Old French language term percepcion and

literally referred to the collecting of rents by feudal landlords.30 Perception allows us to take the sensory information in and make it into something comes to a final understanding. There are 3 factors that can influence his or her perceptions: experience, motivational state and finally emotional state. In different motivational or emotional states, the perceiver will react to or perceive something in different ways. Also in different situations he or she might employ a "perceptual defense" where they tend to "see what they want to see".


Peter Lindsay & Donald Ary, 1997.Human Information Processing: An Introduction to Psychology, New York: Britannica Press, , p. 48.


Robert S. Feldman, 2011. Understanding Psychology, McGraw Hill Companies, p. 99


Robert S. Feldman, Understanding Psychology...


Dr A Lewis, “The issue of perception: some educational implications” p.4&5.



b. The Target. This is the person who is being perceived or judged. "Ambiguity or lack of information about a target leads to a greater need for interpretation and addition."

c. The Situation also greatly influences perceptions because different situations may call for additional information about the target.32

3. The Kinds of Students’ Perception

a. Self-concept

Students‟ perceptions of themselves influence the amount of effort they are willing to put forth in school, their educational aspirations, and their academic achievement. Research has shown that positive attitudes towards self and school ultimately determine students‟ motivation and effort in doing schoolwork.33

b. Positive Attributions

The concept of causal attribution states that students tend to seek a cause for their successes and failures. Students who attribute their success and failures to positive attributions (success is due to high ability, whereas failure is due to a lack of effort) tend to perform better than do their negatively-oriented counterparts. Negatively-oriented


Alan S. & Gary J., 2011. Perception, attribution, and Judgement of Others, Organizational Behaviour: Understanding and Managing Life at Work, Vol. 7


Julie P. Nobel and friends, 2006. ACT Research Report Series: “Student Achievement,


students are those students who attribute their success to luck, and they attribute their failure to low ability or to external sources.34

c. Self-efficacy

Self-regulated learners are typically described as active learners who effectively manage the cognitive, motivational, and behavioral aspects of their learning. Academic self–regulation includes a strong sense of self-efficacy, which refers to a student‟s resilience, their ability to rebound or bounce back from adversity.35

d. Problem-solving Skills and Interpersonal Communications Skills Coping strategies (e.g., problem-solving skills, interpersonal communication skills) protect to environmental stress. Students who indicated that they knew specific behaviors that result in successful outcomes, and that they felt able to execute these behaviors, achieved better grades than students without these strategies. Students who are academically at risk have lower self-perceptions of their interpersonal communication skills than do students who are not academically at-risk.36

e. Family Background

Consistent with other studies on family background and achievement, students from lower income, less educated families are less likely to succeed academically in high school. This finding is most often attributed to differences among groups in their opportunities to learn,


p. 6


p. 6



the quality of the education to which they have access, and to their home environment.37

E. Survey Items

1. Items Type

To present the questionnaires as the main instrument of this study, the writer will constructing the item like Dorney‟s points. Related to the

questionnaire “What questionnaires measure provides the areas to be

covered by questionnaires,” Dornyei points out those questionnaires can

yield three types of data about the respondent: Factual, behavioral, and attitudinal. Factual questions (also called “classification” questions or “subject descriptors”) are used to find out about who the respondents are.

They typically cover demographic characteristics (e.g., age, gender, and race), residential location, marital and socioeconomic status, level of education, religion, occupation as well as any other background information that may be relevant to interpreting the findings of the survey.

Behavioral questions are used to find out what the respondents are doing or have done in the past. They typically ask about people‟s actions, lifestyles, habits, and personal history. Perhaps the most well-known questions of this type in L2 studies are the items in language learning strategy inventories that ask about the frequency of the use of a particular strategy in the past.



Attitudinal questions are used to find out what people think. This is a broad category that concerns attitudes, opinions, beliefs, interests, and values. These five interrelated terms are not always distinguished or defined very clearly in the literature. The term “Attitudes” concerns evaluative responses to a particular target (e.g., people, institution, and

situation). The term “Opinions” is just as subjective as attitudes, but they

are perceived as being more factually based and more changeable. People are always aware of their opinions but they may not be fully conscious of

their attitudes. The term “Beliefs” has a stronger factual support than

opinions and often concerns the question as to whether something is true, false, or right. The term “Interests” is preference for particular activities.

The term “Values” on the one hand, concerns preferences for “life goals”

and “ways of life.”38

Dorney also states some point as a precept to write good items, they are as follows:

a. Short and simple items

The writer should provides the items with simple sentences, not in complex or compound sentences. It also transpires to the words used by the writer, do not make it exceed 20 words.

b. Simple and natural language


Nirwanto, Rahmadi, 2014.Book Review: Questionnaire in Second Language Research.


Choose to say something in a simple way. Keep in clear and direct without any acronyms, abbreviations, proverbs, jargon or technical terms.

c. Avoid ambiguous or loaded words and sentences

Words that indicate something ambiguous or unclear need to be avoided. The writer also notify the respondents with neutral questions. d. Avoid negative constructions

It could be a problem to the respondents if the items contain a negative constructions.

e. Avoid double-barelled questions

Double-barelled questions are the questions that ask two or more ideas in one while expecting a single answer. For instance, the question

“How are your parents?” asks about one‟s father and mother, it could

not be answered simply if one of them is well and the other unwell.

f. Avoid items that are likely same answer

In rating scale, it should be avoided the statements that are probably approved by almost everyone or almost no one.


In order to avoid a response set in which the respondents mark only one side of rating scale, it is worth including in questionnaire both positively and negatively items.39

2. Items Design

To match with the needs of this study, the writer will use Ibrahim‟s

questionnaire of English as a medium of instruction with some modification, they are as follows:

a. The fact that bilingualism gives cognitive advantages.

b. The fact that the important role of English would motivate students and teachers to learn the language.

c. The fact that EMI would give students and teachers more exposure to English and more chances to acquire it.

d. The fact that literacy skills and strategies acquired in a learner‟s native language, Indonesian, transfer to her/his second language, English40.


Zoltan Dornyei and Tatsuya Taguchi, 2010. Questioners in Second Language Research: Construction, Administration, and Processing, Second Edition. New York: Routledge 270 Madison Evanue, p. 42